I write to you today feeling refreshed, currently sat behind my iMac basking in the glory of a richly deserved lie-in. As there are many pressing concerns for me to attend to today (I need to buy a new bed, which I did break due to sexy time with my lady friend) I intend to keep my offerings as minimal as possible.
With that in mind, I shall cut short my customary preamble and head straight into the meaty goodness of the news.
Alexis Sanchez has a hamstring problem and is likely to miss the game with Villa on Sunday. At this stage, it’s thought any omission will be entirely precautionary due to the barrage of fixtures throughout February, but it’s worrying nonetheless. Arsenal’s history with injuries reads like a litany of misfortune and lengthy injuries often appear to materialise out of thin air.
At this stage, pointing out the Chilean wizard’s contribution would be pointless. Any remotely intelligent being in possession of a pair of eyes can see Alexis has been nothing short of magnificent in an Arsenal shirt and hugely influential. There’s no reason not to believe his injury is minimal and any failure to take part on Sunday is erring on the side of caution. However, I think we’ll all exhale with unbridled relief when he’s not rumoured to be unable to play.
The opposite side of that coin is Abou Diaby – a wonderfully talented footballer blighted with injury who again appears unlikely to feature this season at all – a brief Capital One Cup appearance is all we’ve seen thus far.
There’s a decision to be made. It’s a tough choice for Arsene to make becuase it’s obvious that he believes in Abou’s ability and potential. I’m no different. I often recall the glimpses of his talent I’ve seen and find myself wondering what could have been had he not encountered a talentless cretin in Sunderland colours that fateful day in 2006.
Yet here we are in 2015 paying a player who doesn’t play and, if history is anything to go by, is unlikely to ever play regularly again. Diaby’s attitude and dedication to regaining his fitness has been admirable; few could dispute he’s put the effort in to trying to get himself back on the pitch. He’s also an immeasurably likeable character. Sticking by him when so many others wouldn’t is an admirable act from Arsene, even if so many will disagree.
Those people refer to Diaby as “deadwood” or a “scrounger” and I find that laughably stupid. Hatred and all it’s asinine accompaniments requires a figured head to be directed towards and a player with a poor appearance record is an easy target. Truth is, it’s not his fault and it never has been and we should commend our manager for failing to cast a talented footballer into the wilderness. Albeit on a lesser scale, both Robin van Persie and Tomas Rosciky suffered similar spells and both came through to perform excellently for Arsenal.
There is still hope for Diaby, but that hope grows smaller by the day. At some point a choice will have to be made and the harsh truth is we will have to let him go if he can’t play. A new contract, at this stage, does not seem like the correct choice. It’ll be a great shame for all involved – especially us fans who never got to see the best from a undoubtedly gifted player – but sometimes the most painful option is the correct one.
That’s all for today, folks.
The comments await your thoughts below. Feel free to drop me a line and I’ll do my best to reply to a few. I shall return tomorrow with more fluffy goodness for you to digest.
As always: thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.
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